The Words of the Fleisher Family
The Divine Principle clearly explains
that the fruit of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, that object of
desire that upon being eaten caused the fall of mankind, was the
sexual love of Eve and further explains that the root of sin was a
misuse of this sexual love:
(from Chapter 2 of the Divine Principle, Section 1.4 and 1.5, page 60-61:
“What does the fruit of this tree represent? It signifies the love of Eve…What did eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil signify? When we eat something, we make it a part of ourselves. Eve was to have eaten the fruit of goodness by consummating her God-centered love…However, she ate of the fruit of evil by consummating her evil love centered on Satan…Accordingly, Eve’s eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil denotes that she consummated a satanic love relationship with the angel which bound her in blood ties to him…We have learned from the above elucidation of the Bible that the root of sin was not that the first human ancestors ate a fruit, but rather that they had an illicit sexual relationship with an angel (symbolized by a serpent).”
From words from our True Father, we can also understand that living a life of sexual purity is a crucial requirement and absolute foundation that must be maintained before the goal of fulfilling the three Blessings and creating an ideal family and ultimately the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth and in the Spirit World can to be accomplished. (from Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s speech given at the Forty-seventh True Children’s Day, November 21, 2006):
Ladies and gentlemen, it was necessary for Adam and Eve to establish a model, peaceful, ideal family. God, the Absolute Being, created human beings as His children in order to instill in them absolute values on the basis of an absolute standard. Thus, human beings must follow the way of that absolute standard in keeping with the demands of the heavenly path. This means we must follow our destined life course in order to attend God, the Absolute Being, as our Parent. In other words, for people to perfect themselves in resemblance of God and obtain the stature of people of character who can be called sons and daughters of the Absolute Being, they must follow the path based on the absolute standard God had determined. The essence of this path is the standard of absolute sexual purity.
The first stage is maintaining absolute sexual purity prior to getting married. After we are born, we go through a process of growth. We pass through infancy and childhood in a very safe and secure environment embraced in our parents love and protection. We then enter the time of adolescence, which signals the start of a new and dynamic life as we forge relationships on a totally new level with those around us, as well as with all things of creation. This is the moment we begin to travel the path to becoming an absolute human being-internally, through the perfection of our character, and externally, by reaching adulthood.
Yet, at this time there is an absolute requirement that people must meet, no matter who they are. This is the requirement of maintaining their purity. This is the model of absolute sexuality morality for human beings. God gave it to His children as their destined responsibility and duty, to be carried out in order to fulfill the ideal of creation. This heavenly path is thus the way towards perfecting the model of absoluteness in conjugal love.
Second is the model of absoluteness in the love of husband and wife. More precious than life itself, this is the heavenly law of absolute fidelity. Husband and wife are eternal partners given to each other by Heaven. Through having children, they become the co-creators of true love, true life and true lineage, and the origin of that which is absolute, unique, unchanging and eternal. This is because it is a heavenly principle that one person cannot give birth to a child by himself or herself, even in a thousand years…. Ladies and gentlemen, the absoluteness of conjugal love is the greatest blessing that Heaven has bestowed on humankind. Without adhering to the principle of absolute sexual purity, the path to the perfection of one’s character and spiritual maturity is closed. Furthermore, without securing the foundation of absolute sexual morality within a true family of perfected individuals, it is impossible for God to manifest His presence in dignity as the incarnate God of character.
In order for God, the Absolute Being, to have direct dominion over our lives and to live and share joy with us, we who were created as His object partners and children must assume the form of a perfected family based on the standard of absolute sexual ethics, as God intended. Only within the boundaries of a family upholding absolute sexual morality is it possible to create relationships based on an ideal model of sexual ethics for life as it should originally have existed. Therefore, if Adam and Eve had achieved individual perfection-the perfection of character-by upholding the principle of absolute sexual purity, in accordance with God’s will, and then entered into conjugal relations through His Blessing, they would have attained complete oneness with Him. God would have dwelt within their union.”
In order to protect them from committing the fall and to enable them to maintain a life of absolute sexuality morality, God gave Adam and Eve a Commandment to prevent them from committing a heinous sexual mistake. The Bible verse that contains this commandment is found in the following Bible verse, from the Book of Genesis, Chapter 3: 2-3, we read:
“And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; but God said, ‘ You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die”.
It is clear that passage in Genesis 3:2-3 sets very strict guidelines for the permissible activities between a man and a woman. The purpose of this presentation is to examine the issue of why such strict guidelines are contained in the Commandment, how those guidelines can be understood and how those guidelines can be followed in human society. It will also focus on patterns of behavior that occur in disobedience to the Commandment of Heaven. I believe this topic is quite relevant to all humanity and that it is indeed quite a serious one, given the dire consequences that resulted from the disobedience of Adam and Eve to the directive given them by God.
In my estimation, externally the process of the fall depended on three key elements -- freedom, opportunity and temptation. If anyone of these three elements is removed, then the process of the fall does not developed. This dynamic can be likened to the 3 elements that are necessary for combustion -- fuel, air and the igniter. If any one of these three elements is removed, there can be no fire. Likewise, I think, it was and is with the fall.
Now, the element of freedom was given by God and is an intrinsic element in the realm of the indirect and direct dominion. This then could not be removed and taken away from the dynamic. The temptation could have been avoided IF the Archangel had been able to be faithful to God’s Law -- but God knew that there was a possibility that Lucifer would misbehave. The only other part of this dynamic then, is the component of opportunity. To me, this is what the guideline to not touch is pointing to. Take away the opportunity for the power of give and take stemming from selfishness and then leading to deviate love to develop and the fall certainly could have been avoided.
Essentially, if any human being enters into give and take action that could develop or draw that power of deviant love into it (opportunity), it is most probable that the result would be sinful or fallen activity. By types of give and take action, I am referring to even casual give and take activity between immature boys and girls or men and women because it can lead to emotional, heartistic, romantic and then ultimately sexual give and take. So guidelines to block this kind of give and take from starting and thus remove the element of opportunity would include no dating -- even group dates (multiple pairs out together) or activities because such activities play into the component of opportunity and thus are dangerous.
Actually the purpose of dating is to find a spouse and since we want to develop a vertical culture where God through our parents finds our spouse, there is no place for dating in the Kingdom of Heaven. Unfortunately it is a dominant pattern in our current society and thus looks normal and attractive from the outside. From the outset these activities may even look innocent but they can be the beginning point of the perception the opposite sex from a horizontal perspective -- even though, in the beginning it may not be exclusive.
Remember, the power of love, even if it is immature or deviant, can quickly build and tap into our basic desire to be loved. As immortalized in the song by Johnny Lee Looking for Love (in all the wrong places):
“I was looking for love in all the wrong places. Looking for love in too many faces. Searching their eyes, looking for traces of what I'm dreaming of”.
We can continue this train of thought with the further guidance to avoid being alone together with someone of the opposite sex (at least leave the door open when required to talk or relate in this context, as with a boss of the opposite sex), don’t develop an exclusive relationship or “friendship” with someone of the opposite sex or even don’t shake hands. I suspect that this list could be much more extensive, and probably should be, but I think you get the idea. As Rev. Sudo use to say in his workshop lectures on the Fall, “Nip it in the Bud”.
The above types of guidance would be likened to the Biblical guideline of “don’t even touch the fruit”. I could also explain it in the following way -- don’t even start to have exclusive, horizontal, cross-gender give and take outside of a Blessed Marriage, starting with puberty and continuing until the end of your life on this earth! I am also referring to activity that would mimic the pattern of the fall, such as any type of give and take between an older or more sexually mature man or woman towards a younger, less mature person of the opposite sex. The reason why this second type of relationship is so dangerous is because it not only pulls the power of deviant love with it but it also brings the couple into the arena and realm of Satan’s triumph and dominion.
By doing so, they put themselves at the mercy of Satan and his legions who have a vested interest in carrying on or continuing the impetus or pattern of fallen history. I once used the example of the movie trilogy “The Matrix” to illustrate this phenomena. In the Matrix, the security system of the Matrix would place certain gate-keepers at key points of exit from the Matrix. They would look like normal human beings -- drunks, old men, young virile men or beautiful women but when someone from the rebellion approached the exit point they were guarding, they would be taken over by the evil Mr. Smith.
Likewise, when a human being enters into improper give and take, no matter how innocent it may start, the man involved suddenly “becomes” or acts in the manner of the fallen Archangel or the woman involved suddenly “becomes” or acts in the manner of fallen Eve. More than likely, they are offering a base for the additional influence of fallen spiritual beings -- human or angelic. The Bible is quite insightful when it says that we are fighting powers and principalities, especially in this arena. I would refer to the Book of Ephesians 6: 10-20:
Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace; beside all these, taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that utterance may be given me in opening my moth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.”
On this topic of guidelines, I found some specific guidance from our True Father in a question and answer session given in 1965. This is from a document entitled -- “The Master Speaks on Satan, The Fall, and Evil”
“Because the power of love was so strong, God had warned that Adam and Eve not to touch one another. Don’t even look at the knowledge of the tree of good and evil. It is too tempting. This means, don’t even contact the opposite sex until you are allowed to do it. If you contact, you are tempted. If you go to a certain point, you can’t trust yourself not to go farther. So don’t start. On this matter, the outlook is very strict. We are all human beings and we know how tempting love can be. We do not even like to have men and women going somewhere together, because we know that humans are not strong. This may be a great problem in America, but it is essential. Never trust yourself too much. My dispensation is to establish a new lineage of pure blood.”
“Question: What exactly was God referring to when he told Adam and Eve not to eat forbidden fruit? What did He actually say?
Answer: When God told Adam not to eat of the forbidden fruit, Lucifer heard it too. God would not have told them, “Don’t eat the fruit of knowledge…” as the Bible says. This is only a poetic expression. If I tell you exactly what they were told, it would not be good. This information is not written anywhere, and if I say it now what I say will spread. Even though God told them fairly clearly, Adam and Eve did not take it seriously. God said, “Don’t respond to Lucifer’s temptation. Don’t love him.” But those things did not sound serious to them. When one is too young and is not aware of things, some commands do not make sense. You cannot tell things too early. But the angel knew.”
Based on guidance from True Father like the above and my own life experience, my opinion is that the boundary line of permissible activity between a man and a woman, both at the time prior to the fall and still today, should be very strictly controlled and must be extremely limited. The reason for this strictness is that the power of deviant love is very strong -- stronger than the principle alone. Humans are weak for this type of influence because they are designed to be totally attracted to love and can easily fall prey to inferior love or love connected to satanic roots. The Principle explains this in Chapter 2, Section 3.1, page 65-66:
“Human beings are created through the Principle, and they are meant to live according to the way of the Principle. Therefore, it cannot be that the force inherent in the Principle would induce a person to deviate from the way of the Principle and cause him to fall…But if some stronger force from a different direction and with an unprincipled purpose collides with the, they will surely fall. The force which is stronger than the force of the Principle is none other than the power of love. While human beings are in the state of immaturity, it is possible that the power of unprincipled love can induce them to fall.”
Or put in another way, from the Divine Principle in Chapter 2, Section 3.2, page 66:
Why did God nurture the faith of Adam and Eve by giving them the commandment, “Do not eat of the fruit”? In their immature state, Adam and Eve could not be directly governed by God through love. Because the power of love is stronger than the power of the Principle, God foresaw that if they ever formed a common base with the Archangel, there was a possibility that they could succumb to the power of deviant, unprincipled love and fall. To prevent this, God gave Adam and Eve the commandment that forbade them from relating with the Archangel in this way (my emphasis).”
Now though all of the above is very good advice I cannot stop the discussion here because the gap between knowing what is right and doing what is right is often quite a Grand Canyon size chasm. I must emphasize that just setting up boundaries or guidelines is not enough to deter young or older people from pursuing the path of the fall. With immature people, the problem often comes, as so wisely observed by my daughter, in that they tend to have an over abundance of emotion without a counterbalancing abundance of wisdom. Or they are strongly in touch with their own feelings and desire for love but are unable see the bigger and longer term picture.
This could be likened to their following what they think to be right and their self gratifying desires rather than their original mind and heart. If you couple the natural attraction to love with the impetus towards independent action and resistance to external control, a powerful drive that I believe comes from our original mind’s mandate to fulfill our portion of responsibility, the situation can quickly turn into a tinderbox ready to explode. In order to allow themselves to pursue even deviant love and their own independent way and avoid detection, individuals can become very deceptive, choosing to conceal and lie about their activities to avoid being diverted from them.
This tendency towards independence and love should be a good characteristic but if it is turned away from God’s Will, in the direction of my own will, then the result can be a tendency to pursue the misguided or confused direction and lesser good or even evil with gusto. Given this scenario, though a person headed for trouble would able to get through a temptation by following strict guidelines as embodied in the commandment, they probably won’t remember them, take those warning seriously or will even choose to block and attack this Godly advice even though the storm clouds may be looming.
To put it bluntly, they may know what is right to do but they honestly won’t care and will consciously choose to ignore or will actively discount and criticize those pearls of wisdom. “That’s it” they may say and quickly run away or close their ears, mind and heart. They may even have the blind arrogance to think that such guidelines don’t apply to them or that they can handle any situation without being negatively influenced by that situation and thus don’t have to listen to what they consider silly, irrelevant, unenlightened, ignorant, outdated and old fashion morality.
I am sure that during their journey down the slippery slope to hell, their subconscious would be screaming out to them to stop but more than likely they will be in complete blind denial, choosing to ignore their God given sense until it is too late. Usually when someone is “going to the dark side” things can get very gray and for various reasons they tend to isolate themselves from mature folks or wise directives and rely upon their own ideas and perceptions (and probably low spiritual influence since the isolated individual is more of an easy target and prey) and the prevailing morality gleaned from Satan’s world -- a dangerous situation indeed.
Another pattern that could emerge would be an attraction to the horizontal morality and prevailing cultural ethics (or lack thereof) coupled with a desire to gain approval from their peer group rather than from a vertical center point. I believe that “touching” the realm of the fall also tends to draw upon a person an environment of spiritual confusion with the accompanying tendency to get stuck in the selfish, me-firstness worldview that ultimately leaves them vulnerable to the coming temptation (and believe me, it will come). Actually, The scenario of confusion that surrounds a time of temptation has it root in the fall and continues to this day and both young and old are vulnerable to it.
Since this was the pattern that existed at the time of the fall, it is not surprising that a similar scenario could occur in the lives of humanity seeking to distance themselves from the Fall. Of course, such an experience should be clearly seen as a major test and obstacle that by all means must to be triumphed over. But, if the person being tested is just caught in their limited, small minded and self-focused realm of perception and in the desire for immediate happiness no matter the cost, then the tendency will be for them to repeat the process of the Fall rather than prevailing against it. For example, in Chapter 3 of the Divine Principle (Eschatology), Section 4.2, page 101, we find the following description of the last days:
“The era when the paths of these good and evil sovereignties intersect is the Last Days. This is also the time when Adam and Eve’s fall from the top of the growth stage will be restored through indemnity. All people in this era will suffer through great ideological confusion, much as the first human ancestors at the point of their temptation were utterly confused as to whom they should obey and what should guide their actions.”
Since the scenario of the fall tends to clone and repeat itself, confusion is bound to prevail in the lives of immature human beings, especially during times of temptation. In addition to this, there is a deeper pattern that will manifest itself in the lives of human beings during their growing period. This is the tendency of the immature to not grasp the heart, mind and wisdom of God while they are in the indirect dominion -- that realm prior to the realm of perfection. Or put in another way, we tend to “not get it” or to be dense and heartistically blind, to not see or understand our situation from God’s Point of View. This is not only a characteristic of humanity’s fallen nature, it is also a characteristic of an emotionally immature human being. This is the deeper meaning of the sentence from the Divine Principle in Chapter 2, Section 3.2, page 66, “In their immature state, Adam and Eve could not be directly governed by God through love.” In the Question and Answer session from 1965, True Father expanded on this concept:
Question: What do you mean by “control human love”?
Answer: During the time when children are growing, they do not know love. These days, children see through TV and through parents, they see the love affair before they really mature and sense by themselves. In Adam and Eve’s case, they had nothing to see. They did not know about sexual love. As long as they didn’t know anything about it, God could not teach them. God had to wait until they matured and knew something about it before they could come under His Direct Dominion. Until that time, God could not tell them, “Don’t do this. Don’t have a sexual relationship with Lucifer”. Through natural growth and development, they would have matured and learned to know of love. Then God could have blessed them in marriage. They were just to grow naturally, and when they reached the point when they came to know one another, then God wanted to bless them. It is different from the state of children today. They know things before they actually mature. So Direct Dominion means direct control of their love by His love. In all other things, God could give them a direct command, but not about love relationships. Lucifer knew about sexual love before Adam and Eve were aware of it. He was not told this directly, but knew it in his heart.”
Well, to return to the question of how to overcome temptation. I don’t mean to imply that there is no hope and that all humanity will falter and fall during their growing period. But the question remains -- what must we do to avoid the mines in the minefield or falling into the pitfalls along the path of life. How do we avoid being ensnared by the Devil and ending up in or staying in Hell? There is, of course, the option of avoiding temptation altogether by following the commandment and thus removing the dynamic of opportunity. This is a very good solution and is an approach that was utilized by God with Adam and Eve. There is, however, another solution that I believe needs to be developed and that couples very well with the need for strict guidelines.
I have come to the conclusion that as well as having strict guidelines in their lives, all people need to establish their own strong belief in and relationship with God. To put it another way, they need to develop Faith. It is then up to each person to apply this faith to the realm of the Word of God, such as Principle of the Fall, and to cultivate a heartistic commitment to leaning and living the lessons imparted by those Words. In other words, the Word of God must matter to you; it must be given your utmost respect, adoration and appreciation. Those strict guidelines that might have at one time been seen as bothersome or meddling must instead be exalted, appreciated and followed. My point is that for good advice to be followed, it needs to be validated from within. If a person has internalized their faith and has a strong and vivid connection to God, they are more likely to seek, listen to, have absolute faith in and follow Heavenly advice and God’s Words and thereby avoid evil action. The Divine Principle explains this in Chapter 2, section 3.2, pages 66-67:
“Because the power of love is stronger than the power of the Principle, God foresaw that if they ever formed a common base with the Archangel, there was a possibility that they could succumb to the power of deviant, unprincipled love and fall. To prevent this, God gave Adam and Eve the commandment that forbade them from relating with the Archangel in this way. No matter how powerful the unprincipled love of the Archangel might be, had Adam and Eve adhered to God’s commandment, forming a common base with God and engaging in give and take with Him and no other, the power of the Archangel’s unprincipled love would not have affected them and they would never have fallen.”
So the formula would reads like this: Word of God + Faith in that Word = Method to resist the temptation and power of deviant and unprincipled love. Thus a crucial pattern we need to follows to avoid the fall is to possess a vital and vivid connection to God and faith in His Words. We must absolutely trust and have faith in His Words from the depth of our soul, original mind and heart and allow ourselves to be governed by and be object to them.
In addition, at the same time Adam and Eve were avoiding the fall, they should have been working on growing their spiritual lives. It would make sense that the closer to perfection Adam and Eve got, the easier it would have been for them to see with God’s eyes and heart. To apply this scenario in our lives, we need to apply the Principle and practice the principles of spiritual growth on a daily basis. By our doing good works centered on God’s Word, studying God’s Words, developing a vital and vivid relationship with God through utilizing pray and by setting indemnity conditions and even more so participating in living indemnity conditions we can divest ourselves of distortions in our spiritual self and gain the good vitality elements needed to hasten our advance towards perfection. By living a public lifestyle (living for the sake of others, connecting to God’s Providence) we can also make conditions to separate from Satan and elevate our spirit and thus come closer to God. This is a proactive approach as opposed to a reactive/defensive approach. This is the meaning of Chapter 4:8-10 from the Book of Philippians
“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, do; and the God of peace will be with you.”
There is another pattern of behavior that I would like to introduce at this point. This is the pattern of behavior that was not utilized by Adam and Eve and contributed to their downfall. When disaster, war, or confusion reigns around you and cannot be avoided, then you need a strategy and tactic to survive those circumstances and be victorious. Remember that Adam and Eve knew God and had faith in God and they also knew the commandment. One thing they neglected to do during the time of the temptation was to continually check-in with God, especially when the atmosphere and environment around them was getting confused. True Father introduced this concept during the Question and Answer session in 1965.
“Question: Adam and Eve were told not to eat of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. Where they told in the same way in which our Master was told the Divine Principle, by having an even conscience -- that is, on a level---and then establishing a vertical contact with God. If not, then how were they told? They were in the Indirect Dominion; and God did not tell them directly, did He?
Answer: The 90 degree angle was not necessary for Adam. It is only necessary for us because we are under satanic domination, so we have to have an even conscience to receive God’s thought. It did not apply to Adam. The command not to eat of the fruit was given to Adam by God directly. It did not violate the Indirect Dominion. The Direct Dominion of God implies the Direct Dominion of Man’s love by God. Apart from this love, God could teach them directly, even in their Growth Stage. He could give the command directly, but He could not interfere or have dominion over Adam and Eve’s love directly (my emphasis). If Adam and Eve had asked God whether they should respond to Lucifer, then God could have told them directly. When I said that I make a condition beforehand, I mean that I always ask God if it is all right to offer my offering. Then God is responsible to answer. But Adam and Eve did not ask God. So in the indirect dominion, if you ask God, He has to tell you. But God cannot control human love. That happens only in the Direct Dominion.”
My main theme in this presentation is on the dynamic and struggle related to achieving purity and Godliness in each of our lives. The task of achieving and maintaining purity is so crucial because it is not until the last remnants of the fall, evil or sin are eradicated in an individual that he or she can then be free to grow in the way God intended Adam and Eve to grow and to fulfill their purpose of creation. It is precisely because the mandate to rid the world of every aspect of sin is so central to God’s Providence, that efforts to advance that mandate occur in such a battleground between the forces of good and the forces of evil. It is paramount that we enter into this spiritual battleground with effective weapons and armor and equip ourselves with the best strategy and tactics available. To not do this is naïve, foolhardy, shortsighted and can end with disastrous results.
You can be sure that the satanic forces are well equipped and professional in advancing their cause. Those of us wishing to pioneer a Godly world need to be even better equipped and trained than those forces of evil. And we have the ultimate secret weapon; we are so fortunate to be living in the era of the True Parents, who for the first time in history can offer a way out of hell and into Heaven. True Parents represent a beacon of hope, a real, tried and tested pattern of victory and a new root and lineage for humanity to inherit. So though the way is steep and rocky and wrought with difficulty, this restoration course out of hell is nonetheless an expression of the grace and love of God. My purpose in sharing the preceding thoughts and insights is to offer support, tools and encouragement each of you during your journey on the path of restoration and in your efforts to help others on this path of restoration. God Bless and Keep you always in His care and may you also remember to continually comfort His Heart.